Italian Food and Flavours

Chickpea Soup: Zuppa di Ceci

  • chickpea soup

A nutritious and tasty soup. What better on a snowy day than a warming, nutritious soup and one Le Marche folks have enjoyed for generations. The humble chickpea is an excellent vegan and gluten-free source of protein and fiber and they contain exceptional levels of iron, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. They also fill you up without adding on too many calories!

The chickpeas I use are from a local organic farm www.sanafrux.it in Montedinove, about 15 minutes drive away from Cossignano. The ceci they grow are an antique variety, rather small but retain their texture when cooked and have a great nutty flavour.

Chickpea Soup: Zuppa di Ceci

Ingredients:

250g dried chickpeas

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove,crushed
handful of diced proscuitto (leave out for vegan option)
2 whole cloves
stock (chicken or vegetable) or water
tsp salt/pepper
2 carrots, finely chopped
stick of celery,finely chopped
few sprigs fresh rosemary
2/3 bay leaves
some grated pecorino or parmesan

Method:
Soak the chickpeas overnight in plenty of water.
Gently saute the onion, garlic, cloves and prosciutto for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery and cook for a further few minutes, before adding the chickpeas, salt and stock or water.
Throw in the rosemary sprigs (you can fish out the stalks later) and the bay leaves.
Simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours until the chickpeas are tender and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with freshly grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
If using water and not stock then you can use the water the chickpeas were soaked in.
You can add some pasta to the soup, but obviously won’t be a gluten free soup any longer.
Adding some chopped kale or spinach at the end of cooking increases the nutritional benefits of the soup.
Leave out the cheese if vegan.

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